Getting into writing – an interview with Horrorscribes


Tell us a little about Horror Scribes.

Horror Scribes is a repository for horror fiction.

We started out a couple of years ago as a new-age campfire around which horror fans would gather and share their tales of the macabre. We grew, and this is a common trend among horror blogs, into a tight-knit community of users who turn out at every campground event with the sole purpose of scaring the hell out of each other.

Our events consist mainly of competitions that we constantly run on the blog. Each, of course, with a variety of themes aimed at wringing the creative lifeblood out of our followers. And, also, pretty neat prizes.

When did you first know you loved horror and why do you love it so much?

There doesn’t seem to be a time when I wasn’t a horror fan.

I’m the youngest of 3. My elder siblings are both horror fans. Both are way older than me. And both were terrible at babysitting.

By the time I was 10 I had watched The Exorcist, Alien and, my personal favourite, the 1979 Salem’s Lot mini-series.

I’ve followed, studied, and dissected the genre as I’ve grown older.

And the main reason I love horror is because of what it tells me of its audience.

Fear, in its essence, is contextual. I’m not talking about jolts, which is a cheap trick that anyone can use to elicit a reaction. I’m talking about pure undiluted fear that lingers long after that last page is turned. Fear has always been a reaction to what is smothering in the zeitgeist of any given time. Good horror exploits (and explores) that Fear. Good horror exposes contemporary shortcomings; social, cultural or historical. Good horror strips its audience bare, defenceless and forces it to LOOK. And good horror is what we celebrate at Horror Scribes.

Check out our Facebook page for an upcoming live discussion on the essence of good horror.

Who is your favourite horror author and why?

I’ve grown up reading authors like Clive Barker, Susan Hill and Ramsey Campbell. The one who stands above all for me, however, is Stephen King.

I can already hear the groans from some readers. Stephen King has, somehow, turned into a caricature of himself over the last decade, regardless of the fact that he has been back to form for a while now.

I mentioned what I like about horror in the previous question. Stephen King at his best, for me, hits all of the points that I made. He understands naked fear and exploits it.

It’s not the bloodsuckers of Salem’s Lot that we fear. It’s the underlying lies and weaknesses of small town America.

It’s not the Walking Dude that we fear in The Stand. It’s the choices that we, as a society, can and will make when backed against a wall.

It’s not Pennywise the clown that we fear. It’s… actually no. It’s Pennywise.

Click this link for my Top 5 Stephen King Novels.

What do you love about flash fiction and what do you look for in a flash fiction story?

One of the most famous examples of a flash story is Hemingway’s “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

The story exemplifies why I love the format. It’s a snippet of a world. It’s a few pixels that us readers look at and use to conjure up a fresco. What we end up with is heartbreaking, but it’s a heartbreak that’s personal and idiosyncratic and different from one reader to another. The writer implied, we interpreted.

Because of this, the format is the perfect platform for horror. It lends itself to the oldest trick in the book: let the audience scare itself. Good horror flash fiction perfects this.

And it’s the ability to do this that I look for in a Horror Scribes story.

What does Horror Scribes aspire to achieve and how can we help?

We want to help emerging horror writers by offering a diverse range of themes to really test and inspire great flash fiction writing.  At the same time our aim has always been to offer a blog with a community feel to it, where other writers read and comment on published stories, offering constructive feedback.  As writers ourselves we know that feedback is invaluable and can really help a writer to grow and improve.  We are still relatively new on the scene but with enough exposure we hope to continue growing allowing us to offer bigger prizes to our winning authors.  So thank you Zero Flash for kindly having us on your blog and we hope to have intrigued some of your followers enough to check out our blog.



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